U.S. Stocks Fall as FedEx Warning Stokes Global Slowdown Fears

By Liz Moyer

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks fell on Friday as investors brace for next week’s Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.

At 10:20 ET (14:20 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 257 points, or 0.8%, while the S&P 500 was down 1.1% and the NASDAQ Composite fell 1.5%.

Stocks were falling as FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) shares dropped 22% after reporting a weak outlook because of declining volume, further stoking fears of an economic slowdown.

The Fed’s meeting starts Tuesday, with the decision due out Wednesday, and Chair Jerome Powell will have a press conference that afternoon to outline the policymakers’ thought process.

The central bank is widely expected to raise its benchmark rate by a 0.75 percentage point after an inflation report this week that showed prices continued to be elevated despite a recent drop in the cost of gasoline. There is a chance, according to some Fed watchers, that the policymakers move rates up a full point.

Consumers are feeling better about the economy, according to the Michigan consumer sentiment index, which rose from 58.2 to 59.5, a five-month high, as the extended fall in gasoline prices relieved pressure on household budgets. But that was slightly below expectations.

Two international bodies, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, offered sober outlooks. The World Bank said the global economy might be heading toward a recession, and the IMF expects a third-quarter slowdown, according to Reuters.

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) shares fell 4% after its finance chief said supply chain challenges continue to affect its ability to deliver products.

Oil rose. Crude Oil WTI Futures was up 0.8%, to $85.80 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures crude rose 1.1%, to $91.80 a barrel. Gold Futures rose 0.2% to $1680 an ounce.

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